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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

An order was despatched to his brother Ammatas


[Footnote

16: A centurion of Mark Antony expressed, though in a more manly train, the same dislike to the sea and to naval combats, (Plutarch in Antonio, p. 1730, edit. Hen. Steph.)]

[Footnote 1611: Rather into the present Lake of Tunis. Lord Mahon, p. 92.--M.]

[Footnote 17: Sullecte is perhaps the Turris Hannibalis, an old building, now as large as the Tower of London. The march of Belisarius to Leptis. Adrumetum, &c., is illustrated by the campaign of Caesar, (Hirtius, de Bello Africano, with the Analyse of Guichardt,) and Shaw's Travels (p. 105--113) in the same country.]

[Footnote 18: The paradises, a name and fashion adopted from Persia, may be represented by the royal garden of Ispahan, (Voyage d'Olearius, p. 774.) See, in the Greek romances, their most perfect model, (Longus. Pastoral. l. iv. p. 99--101 Achilles Tatius. l. i. p. 22, 23.)]

In a march of ten or twelve days, the vigilance of Belisarius was constantly awake and active against his unseen enemies, by whom, in every place, and at every hour, he might be suddenly attacked. An officer of confidence and merit, John the Armenian, led the vanguard of three hundred horse; six hundred Massagetae covered at a certain distance the left flank; and the whole fleet, steering along the coast, seldom lost sight of the army, which moved each day about twelve miles, and lodged in the evening in strong

camps, or in friendly towns. The near approach of the Romans to Carthage filled the mind of Gelimer with anxiety and terror. He prudently wished to protract the war till his brother, with his veteran troops, should return from the conquest of Sardinia; and he now lamented the rash policy of his ancestors, who, by destroying the fortifications of Africa, had left him only the dangerous resource of risking a battle in the neighborhood of his capital. The Vandal conquerors, from their original number of fifty thousand, were multiplied, without including their women and children, to one hundred and sixty thousand fighting men: [1811] and such forces, animated with valor and union, might have crushed, at their first landing, the feeble and exhausted bands of the Roman general. But the friends of the captive king were more inclined to accept the invitations, than to resist the progress, of Belisarius; and many a proud Barbarian disguised his aversion to war under the more specious name of his hatred to the usurper. Yet the authority and promises of Gelimer collected a formidable army, and his plans were concerted with some degree of military skill. An order was despatched to his brother Ammatas, to collect all the forces of Carthage, and to encounter the van of the Roman army at the distance of ten miles from the city: his nephew Gibamund, with two thousand horse, was destined to attack their left, when the monarch himself, who silently followed, should charge their rear, in a situation which excluded them from the aid or even the view of their fleet. But the rashness of Ammatas was fatal to himself and his country. He anticipated the hour of the attack, outstripped his tardy followers, and was pierced with a mortal wound, after he had slain with his own hand twelve of his boldest antagonists. His Vandals fled to Carthage; the highway, almost ten miles, was strewed with dead bodies; and it seemed incredible that such multitudes could be slaughtered by the swords of three hundred Romans. The nephew of Gelimer was defeated, after a slight combat, by the six hundred Massagetae: they did not equal the third


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